Monday, December 27, 2010

by way of introduction

I am a writer. After spending literally half my life pursuing the muse and, in the process, racking up literally thousands of “by lines,” I can confidently lay claim to that title. An old bio of mine sums it up best by pointing out that I have tackled “just about every standard, including children's books, stage plays, travelogues, financial guides, movie, theater, music and restaurant reviews, gossip and advice columns, celebrity interviews, entertainment newsletters, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles on everything from herbology, cooking and pets to humor therapy, general bdsm practices and the sexual habits of the North American yeti.” Still, it barely scratches the surface of my pursuits, which have over the years taken me in some very interesting and often challenging directions.

I start this blog at the behest of a very good friend and fellow scribe M. Christian, who also happens to be the editor of my first short story anthology, Dimensions Of Desire. I’m not really sure where it will lead me, nor am I sure what I will get out of it, except a place to talk about my writing and, if I’m very lucky, make people aware of my published fiction. I’ve blogged before, both privately and publicly, but they’ve all gone by the wayside for one reason or another. Maybe this will be the one that sticks. Maybe not. I’m not all that concerned. Even without a regular blog to turn to, I write every single day. Not because I have so much time to devote to it, but because I find the time to do so, in order to keep my demons in check. They are legion, after all, and I am but one dedicated disciple of the muse. I’m sure somebody, somewhere, can relate.

I think I’ll start by reposting a piece I wrote ten years ago, when I was a sex columnist for the now defunct webzine suspect thoughts: a journal of subversive writing. Though it was written a decade ago, it still sums up my philosophies on life, and writing, perfectly. What can I say? I’m devoted to my pursuits and I’m not all that interested in reinventing the wheel. So, in the interest of inauguration, I give you…

Confessions Of A Flying Monkey

Let me just start out by saying, I’ve never been a friend of Dorothy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that... It’s been said that I will fuck anything that casts a shadow and, with very few exceptions (camels smell bad and baboons creep me out...), that’s absolutely true. I may have chosen a man as my present confrere and bedfellow, but there never was and never will be a yellow brick road in this sensual pilgrim’s life. I’d like to say the reason is simple, but it isn’t. Nothing ever really is. Instead, a little background is in order.

The fact is, I became sexually active at a very young age, thanks to an overzealous and much older male cousin. Far from being scarred by the experience, however, I took what he taught me and ran with it. Maybe that’s why when, at a time when most of my friends were just getting an idea of what sex was all about--while talking about growing up to be firemen, astronauts or superheroes--I was well ahead of the game. I knew what I wanted to be and it had nothing to do with your standard run-of-the-mill male icon. I wanted to be the personification of sex. Not male sex. ALL sex.

I was a voracious reader even then. By the time of my forced sexual awareness, I had already devoured Tolkien, Burroughs, Wells and dabbled in the best science fiction and fantasy of the day. Most of it bored me, as did the superhero comics (spandex and bulging muscles aside) my friends had become addicted to. I couldn’t explain my dissatisfaction, I just knew that something was missing from those chaste morality tales which passed for imaginative entertainment.

Then a chance encounter via PBS (which coincidentally coincided with my cousin’s prolonged assault on my tender young flesh) introduced me to Joseph Campbell and his revolutionary viewpoints on myth, as outlined in his book, Hero With A Thousand Faces. According to Campbell, all of the elements which appeared in the stories I had been reading had already been explored, much better, centuries before. As a bonus, there hadn’t been censors when those stories had originally been written, something I would discover all on my own.

Through Campbell, I was introduced to the world of ancient myth and the beliefs which accompanied those myths. I was most taken by the tales of the Greeks, with their earthy heroes and their vibrant and sensuous gods. These legends, in turn, introduced me to the concepts of passionate variety in that other strange new world I had been introduced to: SEX. Leda and the Swan, Narcissus, Zeus and Ganymede (Zeus and everybody for that matter!)--bestiality, self-love, homosexuality, polygamy--all these and more were laid out before me like a banquet and my safe, bucolic little world would never be the same again.

Suddenly my strict Catholic upbringing--with its tired rituals, celibate disciples and the sadly forlorn, mutilated god which personified it-- meant very little to me. Suddenly everything I had been experiencing, all the dirty little thoughts which had been running rampant through the fertile fields of my imagination, all the urges I couldn’t explain which had been awakened by the fumblings of a horny juvenile delinquent--suddenly all of it became clear to me. Sex was good! Not only that, with a little experimentation, it could me much, much better!

And so I began my vision quest for sexual enlightenment. I would dedicate myself to becoming as close to the personification of sex as I possibly could (remember, I was still quite young then). Obviously I couldn’t be a god, but why not a disciple? Why couldn’t I dedicate my life to the study and pursuit of fleshly pleasures? And why couldn’t I convert others to the cause? It seemed a simple enough task, so that’s exactly what I did.

I spent the next few years seducing my impressionable young friends, male and female alike, corrupting their minds with tales of deviant behaviors they could barely comprehend and building a secret library of books found at the local landfill with titles like Swingers 76, Sticky Pants and Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask. Those filled in the blanks nicely for the nonbelievers and won over more than a few wavering novices to my cause. I was a very dedicated disciple and, quite frankly, innocence was a very powerful aphrodisiac (still is, if I’m to be completely honest). No one was safe. Not classmates, not the altar boys at our church, not even my best friend’s dad (but that’s another story, for another time).

Graduating from high school and moving away from the small rural town I had been raised in, to enter college, only served to open doors wider for me. In this new environment, I found it much easier to ferret out those with like minds. Or, at least, those who had begun taking the first steps toward discovering the world I had spent so much time exploring. I dallied in the new experiences cultural differences could bring and immersed myself in everything from the bawdy tales of Chaucer and the deliciously cruel writings of the Marquis de Sade to conventional smut and hard-core pornography. I also began writing.

I wrote short stories, poems, essays and the occasional article for the school paper. Not everything I wrote had to do with sex, but the implication was never far away. And as the years passed, my writing matured and diversified. What started out as a way of alleviating the fire which burned in my brain by dumping words onto paper, became a way of life. Like the Marquis de Sade, the overwhelming need to write consumed me. But, unlike the Marquis, I could temper the fire and turn it to other, less carnal, pursuits. I began writing for newspapers, magazines, journals--any that would have me. But I never stopped writing about sex in my spare time. That obsession would never leave me.

A lot of changes have come my way over the last couple of decades. I’ve been an artist, an actor, a model, a Wiccan, a fortune teller, a psychic, a scholar, a civil servant, a drug dealer, a pimp, a slave, a husband, a father, a patron, a teacher and through it all have discovered some of the best sex this world has to offer, on several continents. I’ve worked for movie studios and porn magazines. I’ve interviewed celebrities and drug addicts. I’ve been published and rejected, threatened and praised, reviled and awarded. But through it all my ideals haven’t changed. Neither has my love for quality smut and provocative imagery.

I am completely satisfied with the road I’ve chosen to travel. I still love sex in all its infinite varieties--quick sex and marathon sex, solo sex and group sex, vanilla sex and fetish sex, safe sex and the kind of sex which can get one arrested in several states (you name it, I’ve probably tried it at least once). I may never have become the personification of sex (other, less carnal, distractions have precluded that), but I’ve had a damn good time trying. And though it hasn’t always been easy in this morally conflicted and accusatory time we live in, I take pride in referring to myself as a hedonist. I have challenged the myths of old and written a few of my own. Those ancient epicurean gods would be so proud.

Dorothy, on the other hand? Well, all I can say is, having a song in one’s heart and bouncing blithely over the rainbow may be fine for some, but I’ll take the less evolutionary path, thank you very much. The diversities of sex have given me wings and steered me away from the well-worn paths (yellow brick and otherwise) of the single-minded. I have become a flying monkey and I like it that way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, either.

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